Is It Peace? 2 Kings 9:17

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
KI 9:17{ONE of the most important questions that could possibly engage the attention of a man stands at the head of this paper, and yet it would seem that in proportion to its importance is the indifference with which fallen man treats it.
Not so the world, with regard to its interests, or kingdoms and nations, respecting their welfare; wise and far-seeing with reference to time, man is a fool, and plays the fool, in the things of God and of eternity. Peace is the great desire of nations, to maintain it on honorable terms with surrounding neighbors is the great desire of every well-ordered State; and to live in peace with his neighbors and friends is the mark of a great and good man. How often and anxiously breathed was the word "peace" lately! How desired and longed for, both by conquerors and conquered! And when at last it came, how was it not flashed along the telegraph wire from country to country, and from continent to continent! What interest and anxiety, long on the watch, did it not find in every land! Alas, how different if I speak about “peace with God!"-a peace which Christ made by the blood of His cross; a peace which nothing can break; a peace, without which man is miserable in life, and hopeless in death. Reader, "is it peace" with you? If not, give me your attention for a little.
First. Let me tell you what peace is not. A truce is not peace; it may be very well so long as it lasts, but it is not intended to be permanent or lasting. It is, at best, but a temporary abstaining from hostilities by the mutual consent of two contending powers, and as soon as the prescribed limit is passed, war and bloodshed break out as terrible and destructive as ever.
Again. Gaining victories is not peace; it is, on the contrary, a proof that hostilities are going on, though one may be victorious in them. What, then, is peace, if it be not a truce, or gaining the day, as we say?
Peace is the complete and final overthrow of every hostile foe, so that there is no enemy to show. We shall take two illustrations; the first you will find in Ex. 15, where the children of Israel celebrate the triumphs of Jehovah over all their enemies. "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation.".... "Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone." Exodus 14:3030Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:30) tells you the spring of this note of praise, namely, " Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore."
There was no enemy to lift up his head; all their enemies, the glory and flower of Egypt, had gone down like "lead in the mighty waters." They are a liberated people; they have seen the salvation of the Lord; consequently they can celebrate its triumphs. But observe the point of importance. There was no enemy to lift up his head, and for this simple reason, there were none left; the mighty waters of the Red Sea, through which Israel passed in safety, returned and flowed over the glory of Egypt. “The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them."
Let us now look at a more magnificent victory and triumph; you will find the account of it in John 20. The Lord Jesus Christ is the victor, and sin, death and hell the vanquished. It is a wonderful sight. He is standing above all that He has risen out of, in the magnificence of His triumph! He had been under death and judgment, though not for Himself. The whole array of hostile enemies had put forth their might against Him, and He, blessed One, in the matchless grace of His own nature, had given Himself to meet it all; and He did meet it, and that perfectly, in His cross, glorifying God so perfectly, that the glory of the Father "raised him up from the dead, and glorified him, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies;" in His cross putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, as well as through death; destroying him that had the power of death. In John 20, then, He is seen standing in the fullness of His triumph, dispensing the spoils of victory, and His first word to the assembled disciples is, “Peace." It announced the overthrow of all their hostile foes, and proclaimed the fullness of His victory; but He goes further, for He not only announces peace, but likewise communicates life. He breathed on them, and saith unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost." Further, if we chose to pursue it, we should find that from Him the victorious risen, ascended One, the Comforter, was sent down to dwell in all who believe in Him. Will you say, reader, what are your thoughts of such a triumph? Are you a partaker of it? Can you say, as you look up from the empty grave of Jesus to the occupied throne of the Father, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ"? Not only this, but the consciousness of present favor, the hope of the glory of God filling the heart, while you joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a wonderful thing, not only peace of conscience, but peace with God as God is! Reader, "Is it peace?" If not, "acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; thereby good shall come unto thee." For "He is our peace," having "made peace by the blood of his cross."
Reader, are you indifferent, thoughtless, careless? Listen! "When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.... and they shall not escape." The Lord in His mercy grant you so to know Him, that your heart shall be full, yea, even to overflowing! W. T. T.